Google Desktop Development

This morning Ryan emailed me some ideas for development projects with Google Desktop. I liked his ideas, and have been thinking of how it could be achieved. But my point is I went off to read the Google Desktop API and it seems like a really cool thing.

One cheeky idea I had was setting up the desktop on a server, then using the API to index your intranet, and then providing a search button that called back into the desktop API, thus getting Google search for your intranet on the cheap. More than likely breaking rules of the license, but just an idea.

But what really impressed me was the richness of the API and how you could use it as your universal storage for text based stuff. With the journal and contact type entries, you could write plug-ins for your normal apps, and use it as your master synchronization point.

I just went searching for Ryan’s web-site so I could link to him, so I loaded up the Plaxo website (which Ryan put me onto) and realised this is exactly what I had just been talking about. I really like Plaxo. Some friends have recommended Bebo, but after having tried Plaxo, Bebo just came across as ugly, and a very polluted UI.

My only gripe about Plaxo is that the user experience could be improved by using AJAX. The page that this is the most painful on is the contact list, where each click on the business and private card widgets causes a full page reload. Otherwise the page design is nice and clean.